Lonely Planet Writer

Frank Gehry-designed restaurant opens at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Travellers heading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art may want to head there with an empty stomach, as a new Frank Gehry-designed restaurant has opened at the site.

Inside the Frank Gehry-designed restaurant at the museum. Image by Philadelphia Museum of Art

Gehry is a world-renowned architect, famous for buildings like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle and many more buildings around the world. The new restaurant, called Stir, is the first Gehry-designed restaurant offering fine dining of the East Coast.

The restaurant is the first step in a huge transformation of the museum’s interior. The Gehry-led renovation of the museum’s 1928 building will include adding new public areas and 23,000 square feet of gallery space. The full project is scheduled to be complete in 2020. Stir’s opening marks the first time guests at the museum can see Gehry’s architectural influence and the centrepiece of the restaurant is a flowing sculpture made of Douglas fir that extends across the roof.

Sample marinated jersey plums at the museum. Image by Philadelphia Museum of Art

When it comes to the food, the 76-seat restaurant will focus on seasonality and local sourcing. It has also been designed to that guests can see into the kitchen and watch the staff work. According to the executive chef Mark Tropea: “whether stopping in for brunch or lunch, we expect that our guests will be delighted with our curated culinary offerings—from small plates that include Roasted Jersey Peaches, Seared Barnegat Scallops, and a farm-fresh Corn Bisque, to main dishes like a Dry-Aged Farm Stand Burger topped with Lancaster cheddar, Kennett Square Wild Mushroom Frittata, and handmade torn pasta bursting with regional flavors.”

Inside the Frank Gehry-designed restaurant at the museum. Image by Philadelphia Museum of Art

If you are not interested in fine dining, next door there will be a new cafeteria that can seat 160 guests. In addition to amazing views, the café will offer up artisanal sandwiches, salads, brick-oven pizza and speciality coffee.

If you want to check out Stir, reservations can be made on Open Table or by calling 215-684-7990.